So-So Done Right
At The Start Of A Stronger Season
All that I've ever known of Susan Lucci is that she's a soap opera star who was cursed to live a life where she was constantly nominated for Emmys based on her work but took forever to finally win one. All that I know about soap operas is that there has yet to be a host of Saturday Night Live who has come from the world of soap that has put on a performance that I actually like so I started this viewing with very low expectations as to what I was about to see.
Though I would say that the episode did live up to my low expectations, I was very impressed by the improvements that I felt were signs that this season would be better than last year. Where last season, even the best of host put out so-so shows, which I felt was due to the cast growing stagnant, following five years without any change, this year, I can already feel a change in energy with the few changes that they've made to the cast.
So far, they only added Chris Farley and Chris Rock who, together, have only appeared in a handful of sketches but that's been enough to create a sense of change because I'm sure they're adding energy to the writing room that requires a stirring every couple years to avoid the stagnation that I was complaining about.
That said, I've now also seen Rob Schneider and David Spade pop up in the background from time to time so I'm sure their addition to the show has helped to stir the creative juices because I could see tonight's episode being a complete bore if it were part of season fifteen. Instead, I found this to be an entertaining episode that just wasn't for me because of how much they referenced the soap opera genre which I am not a fan of.
Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come because if this is the quality of content that they can come up with for a host who I wouldn't really like, no matter what season we're talking about, I'm excited to see what they can do with a host who I actually like.
Until that happens, it's now time to move on and share what I saw, as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with a fake ad where the owner of the Patriots at the time was pitching The Classic Bitch And Lezbo Electric Shavers to add a female line to the Remington brand of products which he apparently also owned. As always, this being the opening sketch, it eventually ended with the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
Susan Lucci then officially opened the show with a monolog about how the only thing that would be better than hosting Saturday Night Live would be to finally win an Emmy. She then went on to explain the differences between her and the character she portrays on All My Children, which is a show that I've never seen so I didn't get the nuances to her references. This eventually led to a flashback where Susan was continually taunted behind the scenes by all the cast and crew who have all won multiple Emmys to where there were so many award statues that the flashback ended with an Emmy fight with the many trophies being playfully thrown around.
This was followed by a parody of Live With Regis And Kathie Lee which is a show that I am actually familiar with so I got all the nuanced jokes so I found it sort of funny. That said, if I wasn't aware of the show being referenced, this would be another case where I felt the parody was too close to being realistic that the jokes weren't all that funny.
All My Luggage was a parody of All My Children where they parodied the soap opera style to an instance in luggage claim where customer service has to break the news to Susan Lucci that they managed to lose her bags which leads to an extremely melodramatic response.
Great Love Stories was a sketch that profiled unexpected love stories and shared the tale of a mobster who fell in love with a woman after he threw acid in her face by mistake since the actual target was her neighbor. We also met a man who fell in love with a girl after realizing he and his father were keeping her locked in the basement as a prisoner, as well as a female reporter who fell in love with a football player after being flashed in a locker room when she went back for an after game interview. Finally, the sketch ended with a preview of next week's show where we witnessed a redneck who fell in love with a camping city boy after killing off his girlfriend.
Hothouse Flowers then took to the stage to perform Give It Up.
Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Mr. Subliminal returned to the show to share his views on the new NC-17 rating while sneaking in his real opinions with his subliminal style of reporting. Chris Rock also made his first news appearance to discuss the difference between white and black crimes and how white people tend to commit the crazier crimes to land them on death row while black people stick to the more traditional breaking of rules. Finally, the new ended with a visit from Dana Carvey's Grumpy Old Man character who shared his generation's struggles from when they were youths but they weren't actual struggles because "That's the way things were and they LIKED IT!"
Game Breakers was a game show sketch hosted by Phil Hartman where Susan Lucci wins every round by flirting with Phil while constantly claiming that her buzzer is broken or other excuses to steal the win from Jan Hooks who's dressed down and actually does have all of the answers. The conflict between the two contestants eventually turned the sketch into yet another soap opera parody.
Her First Period was a sketch was Victoria Jackson experiences her first period during a family event and has to ask her mom, Susan Lucci, for advice only to get extremely awkward answers to her questions since they treated Jackson's adult size as the size of the twelve-year-old child she's portraying as well as the fact that Lucci's character is downright crazy.
I Will Not Cry was a sketch where Mike Myres plays the sensitive one amongst a group of female coworkers and he has to fight his tears during a farewell party at work. We eventually learn that he's not even leaving the company or even the building and that he's just moving to another department but is still super emotional to the point where he kills himself. While up in heaven, he meets with Jesus where he continues to cry his eyes out over missing the girls from work.
Hothouse Flowers then returned to the stage to perform I Can See Clearly Now.
M.C. Hammer's The Sound Of Music was as the title suggests a parody ad for The Sound Of Music with M.C. Hammer in the starring role.
Finally, Susan Lucci closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
So, even though I consider this to be a so-so show, it's not the same so-so as last season thanks to content that's the quality of these three of my favorite moments from the night. First, I loved the Everyone Has An Emmy flashback during the opening monolog because I love how everyone but Lucci had the trophy that she desired and how everyone treated the award as if it were no big deal. Next, I really liked All My Luggage because even though it was a soap opera parody, the acting was great and the writing actually got me to laugh. Finally, I was a fan of M.C. Hammer's The Sound Of Music because I loved the idea and loved seeing Chris Rock, I just wish that they did even more with it.